+ Sexual energy, life drives, structure of the chain of life, desire, knowledge, remedy
– Dichotomy between desire and expression, fear or refusal of sexuality and behaviors related to sexuality, lack of love and humanity, aggressive sexual energy
Snake dreams are very common in teenagers and adults. These dreams are very powerful and leave a feeling of unease most of the time. In Freudian psychoanalysis, the snake is commonly assimilated to a phallic form, to the male sex itself. This vision is quite reductive. The snake symbolizes much more. He is the symbol of sexual energy itself. This is why it does not appear in children’s dreams, unless there is great precocity or an unfortunate confrontation with this energy.
This symbol most often manifests when this energy is awakening and not being used. It is either by blockage, or by lack of means or opportunities for expression. It can be a question of a difficulty in finding a partner or if we repress our sexual aspect by the constraint of an education that is too rigid. Snake dreams are an expression of fear of this energy seeking expression. If it is not used or transformed, it rises to the surface in our dreams. But it appears in a brutal and terrifying form, that of the serpent. The fear that arises in us at this time is equal to that which we feel vis-à-vis sexuality. The snake can therefore represent our irrepressible sexual energy, which would tend to overwhelm our conscious desire, limited to the field of possibilities that we allow ourselves. This energy then appears as regressive and annihilating the image that we have built of ourselves. The snake is obviously linked to our reptilian brain.
The snake can manifest itself in all sizes and colors in our dreams, more or less terrifying or leaving us cold. It attacks only very rarely, causing more fear than harm, but it can happen to be bitten. The location of the bite is important in the dream. If it is in the groin, the sexual nature of the snake is well confirmed. Ditto with the foot, but then it is an old injury that caused a real blockage.
A snake can also symbolize the energy of a surrounding person whose urges and obvious desire we perceive towards us. A dream in which a human detail snake stands may represent a man who expresses more his impulsive desire than his amorous passion. This image is terrifying for a woman who feels physical blockages vis-à-vis men, frightened by male impulses as much as she represses her own.
The image of the snake represents the coldness of sexuality when it is not transcended by the feeling of love or when the body is denied in its expression. Love, by its warmth, warms and transforms these archaic impulses to lead the individual towards greater humanity. Only love and consciousness are able to guide and control this energy, to sublimate it.
In Genesis, the serpent is equated with forbidden knowledge, with sin. He is the tempter who will encourage Eve to consume the fruit of knowledge and who reveals to her: “The day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:1-24). Knowing that to know each other biblically is to have sex, the snake is therefore seen in the same symbolic way. However, in this religious context, sexual energy is taboo and should therefore be suppressed. It is the knowledge of oneself, of one’s individual nature which is condemned, but it is undoubtedly a bad interpretation. It is rather a warning that is mentioned. The individual who accesses his sexual desire and expresses it leaves the world of childhood to enter the adult world. He becomes responsible for his actions and actions. He no longer has anyone to hold his hand, unless he prefers to remain a child obeying the voice of the father or the mother. The very evocation of this energy in Genesis is as much a warning as an invitation relating to the evolution of human beings, who must know themselves in their flesh. The “tempting” woman is the receptacle and the awakener of this energy. She is the muse, the drive for evolution that guides man towards his individuation and maturation.
The sexual energy is the most powerful of our energies. It is the primitive life drive. If this energy of the snake is well integrated, then it opens out in us as an energy carrying our desires of life. At this moment, she is sublimated and the serpent is transformed; the power of death it contains becomes a power of life which makes us evolve as much as it regenerates us. In Taoism and Tantrism, life is associated with transformation and movement; any stagnation or immobilization is a work of death.
Some religions ask those who want to serve them better to stop having sex. This energy should no longer be spent, but transformed, once recognized, to carry them even further in their quest for the absolute and spirituality. It is therefore not a question of repressing the snake, but of welcoming it and sublimating its nature, from sexual to spiritual.
In ancient Greece, in the cult of Asclepius, the snake is the symbol of care. This deity is represented with a stick and accompanied by a serpent. Asclepius is the first of the therapists. He is likened to Aesculapius among the Romans. Asclepius was consulted in consecrated and arranged temples to sleep there and entrust his dream to the priest/interpreter the next day. If the penitent/patient saw a snake appear in his dream, he was cured. This symbolism remains with the caduceus – the staff of Asclepius, strictly speaking –, the symbol of doctors, in which appears a snake wrapped around a staff, surmounted by the mirror of prudence. This snake is found as emblematic of the care professions. If the serpent is the energy of life and the primitive drive, all connections with this center reconnect us with our vitality, our fundamental desire for life, which opposes the death drive, therefore illness.
In India, in the Tantric tradition, sexual energy is solicited and used in the perspective of awakening. It involves stimulating the first chakra (energy center), located at the base of the spine, to activate the energy it contains. Inside it is coiled a sleeping serpent, coiled on itself, called Kundalini. Her energy is identified with Shakti, the feminine aspect of Shiva. When this serpent awakens, it uncoils and rises up the spinal column. It is the rise of the Kundalini. If the individual is prepared, sufficiently initiated and without fear, at this moment, he accesses the knowledge and awareness of his divine nature.
And finally, in shamanism, mainly in South America, the cosmic serpent is the divine representation of the structure of life. Some hallucinogen experiences allow you to connect with the cosmic serpent and allow yourself to be swallowed up by it. This structure would also be internal and the coiled serpent would be the perception of the DNA double helix. This is found in the caduceus and in the tantric vision of the Kundalini.
The snake is undoubtedly the most universal symbolic representation. It is commonly the opposite of our immediate perception, that of fear and hindsight, but structure and source of life, the very drive of life.
This interpretation comes from our Dictionary of dreams: interpretation of the snake dream
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